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Gore’s Story Extends with 49ers

Posted Aug 31, 2011

According to Jim Harbaugh, Frank Gore’s life story should be made into a movie. Hollywood execs aren’t lining up directors for the project just yet, but if they spoke with the 49ers head coach, they might be compelled to do so.

The movie idea is all Harbaugh, who suggested it to the Bay Area media earlier this week.

“The guy is awesome,” said Harbaugh, raving over his starting running back. “Somebody should do a movie. Somebody should do the Frank Gore story, because it’s an awesome story.”

If Gore’s movie were to be made, the script will have a few more chapters written after this season now that Gore signed a three-year contract extension on Wednesday to remain with the 49ers through 2014.

Gore had a look of relief while signing his contract on the patio outside the team cafeteria. Heading into training camp, Gore was in his last year of his contract and was in search of a resolution.  He and the 49ers wanted to make it work, and after careful collaboration, they’ve done just that.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be here after this year,” Gore admitted. “But I’m happy the organization showed they wanted me here.

“Now I can just play football.”

Gore’s story, as Harbaugh noted, is quite compelling to say the least.

Coming from the humid, competitive playing grounds of Coral Gables, Fla., to the historic, hallowed field of Candlestick Park,  the 5-foot-9, 217-pound running back has overcome plenty of hardships to become one of, if not the, best all-around player at his position in the NFL.

Few NFL runners, if any, can run, catch, and throw devastating blocks in blitz pickup like Gore. Blocking might discourage other runners, but not Gore. He’s used to making the best of any tough situation.

Gore overcame two serious knee injuries at the University of Miami to become one of the biggest steals of the 2005 NFL Draft. The third-round draft pick (No. 65 overall), has since become a two-time Pro Bowler, who has played in 84 games (71 starts) and has totaled 6,414 rushing yards in six seasons. Gore’s rushing yards currently rank third-best in franchise history; his 8,697 yards from scrimmage rank fourth.

Simply said, Gore has been a consistent source of offense for the 49ers since he’s been with the team. And not to be outdone, the 28-year-old continues to be hungrier and more determined than ever after suffering a season-ending injury last year that caused him to miss the last five regular season games.

Surely that was a low point in Gore’s career. But what makes his story most intriguing is how he’s responded to hardships.

Injuries and football losses can’t compare to the loss of his mother Liz, who was his rock, especially during the two knee injuries he suffered in college. Tragically, Liz lost her battle with kidney disease before the 49ers’ second game in 2007. And with a heavy heart, Gore ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns, carrying the 49ers to a 17-16 victory that day.

Clutch performances are likely to continue with Gore maintaining his key role on the 49ers offense. And if the seven-year pro plays the full length of his new contract, he will be a member of the team’s 10-year club, too. He’s also 931 yards away from breaking the 49ers’ all-time rushing record.

Just mentioning the opportunity to accomplish both sparked an even bigger grin on Gore’s face.

“You really never see at my position, a running back, getting drafted by a team and then finishing 10 years on one team,” Gore said. “I got a chance to do that and I will do it. That’s a blessing.”

As for the 931 yards, Gore’s closing on the late 49ers Hall of Fame running back Joe “The Jet” Perry’s all-time mark of 7,344 rushing yards.

“That’s real big especially when you see all the great players who came through here,” Gore added. “For my name to be mentioned above those guys, that’s big for me.”

Career records, however, can wait.

Gore’s sole focus at the moment is getting the 49ers back into the playoffs where they haven’t been since 2002. “Win the West,” is the saying Gore has consistently used this offseason in various interviews.

The 49ers are positioned to compete for several NFC West titles in the future.

In the past two years, the 49ers have extended Gore’s contract as well as the deals of two other Pro Bowlers in linebacker Patrick Willis and tight end Vernon Davis. Playing alongside those two star players isn’t lost on Gore either.

“With us three being the core of the team, it’s a great thing we can continue our careers here,” Gore said.

As for the movie to be made in his honor, that’ll have to wait. Gore’s story is not being released in theatres just yet, but it can be seen in real-time throughout the next four seasons here in the Bay Area.

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